Shut-In? impact of chronic conditions on community participation restriction among older adults

  • Theis K
  • Furner S
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Abstract

Community participation may be especially important for older adults, who are often at risk for unwanted declines in participation. We estimated the prevalence of community participation restriction (PR) due to perceived environmental barriers among older adults (≥50 years) and compared the impact among those with selected chronic conditions. Individuals with low-prevalence conditions reported high community PR (9.1–20.4%), while those with highly prevalent conditions (e.g., arthritis) had relatively low community PR (5.1–10.0%) but represented the greatest absolute numbers of condition-associated burden (>1 million). Across all conditions, more than half of those with community PR reported being restricted “always or often.” Community PR most often resulted from modifiable environmental barriers. Promising targets to reduce community PR among adults ≥50 years with chronic conditions, particularly arthritis, include building design, sidewalks/curbs, crowd control, and interventions that improve the built environment.

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Authors

  • Kristina A. Theis

  • Sylvia E. Furner

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